• U.S. intelligence briefed House on Russia to ensure Trump's re-election.
• Classified briefing to lawmakers made Trump angry
• Trump said Democrats would “weaponize” news of Russian military campaign
• Trump was mad DNI Joseph Maguire would let staff appear
• That's why Maguire's out, Richard Grenell's in as 'acting' DNI.
In Washington last week, U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers that Russia is carrying out a military-grade attack on the 2020 elections, with the goal of making Americans doubt the integrity of the vote and ensure re-election for impeached, manifestly unfit and corrupt President Donald Trump, Reuters reported Thursday. Read the rest
A leaked demo has bright red and orange marks on 'harmfully misleading' tweets
Sure, this absolutely passes the corruption smell test. Everything is fine. Trump and his klepto-regime are (of course) supporting Oracle's Larry Ellison in his Supreme Court fight with Google. The same day the same Larry Ellison hosted a massive fundraiser for Trump in California.
From reporting by Malathi Nayak at Bloomberg News:
The Trump administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an appeal by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, boosting Oracle Corp.’s bid to collect more than $8 billion in royalties for Google’s use of copyrighted programming code in the Android operating system.
The administration weighed in on the high-stakes case on the same day that President Donald Trump attended a re-election campaign fundraiser in California hosted by Oracle’s co-founder, billionaire Larry Ellison.
Ellison hosted a golf outing and photos with Trump. The event cost a minimum of $100,000 per couple to attend, with a higher ticket price of $250,000 for those who wanted to participate in a policy roundtable with the president, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported.
Trump Backs Supporter Larry Ellison in Court Fight With Google
[ Malathi Nayak, February 19, 2020] Read the rest
The Defense Information Systems Agency, which calls itself a combat support agency of the Defense Department on its website, employs 8,000 military and civilian employees.
The DIA, which is responsible for secure White House communications, said Social Security numbers and other personal data its network held, was likely compromised, reports Reuters, citing a letter sent to compromised individuals. Read the rest
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has opened an investigation into a former Google employee’s pregnancy discrimination case, CNBC reports. Read the rest
Post-Brexit, Google plans to move UK user accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, and will place them under U.S. jurisdiction instead, where privacy protections are weaker, reports Joseph Menn at Reuters. Read the rest
An estimated 550 people who worked at Wayfair lost their jobs last Thursday, in what has been dubbed Wayfair's 'Valentine's Day Massacre.'
The layoffs included 350 workers at the online shopping firm's Boston headquarters. Read the rest
“Russia has sent intelligence agents to Ireland to map the precise location of the fibre-optic, ocean-bed cables that connect Europe to America,” Ireland's security agency suspects, according to this report in The Times of London.
“This has raised concerns that Russian agents are checking the cables for weak points, with a view to tapping or even damaging them in the future.”
Irish security officials believe Russia may be targeting Ireland as a regional base for military intelligence operations because the country's counterintelligence abilities are limited, and Moscow presumably views Ireland as a vulnerable spot.
Additionally, various tech giants that have placed their offices in Dublin to evade U.S. taxes might be juicy targets for Vladimir Putin's corporate espionage programs.
Ireland is the landing point for undersea cables which carry internet traffic between America, Britain and Europe. The cables enable millions of people to communicate and allow financial transactions to take place seamlessly.
Garda and military sources believe the agents were sent by the GRU, the military intelligence branch of the Russian armed forces which was blamed for the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer.
Russian agents plunge to new ocean depths in Ireland to crack transatlantic cables
[thetimes.co.uk] Read the rest
The Department of Justice on Thursday announced a 16-count superseding indictment against the Chinese technology company Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou. Among the charges: racketeering and conspiracy to steal intellectual property. Read the rest
The fine folks at Boston Dynamics, busy building our future robotic overlords, have loaned Adam Savage a Spot robot for the Tested team to play with.
For his first project, Adam built a gorgeous steampunk/Victorian rickshaw for Spot to pull. The results are glorious.
Read the rest
The Federal Trade Commission today ordered five big tech companies to provide detailed information about their previous acquisitions of small companies, expanding the agency's investigation into possible antitrust concerns in digital markets. Read the rest
A Tesla driver in California died in a March 2018 crash while using the Autopilot driver-assistance system.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) disclosed in documents made public Tuesday that Walter Huang, the 38-year-old Apple software engineer killed by his Tesla, previously reported that on prior trips his car steered away from the highway by itself. Read the rest
In new court filings, AWS (Amazon Web Services) claims it wants to depose Donald Trump about his involvement in the JEDI bidding process, and “efforts to harm Amazon or AWS.” The lawsuit filed by Amazon's cloud computing division cites a history of the president's public attacks of Amazon, including allegations he told Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the deal. Read the rest
• The Equifax breach was disclosed in 2017, exposed financial records of 150M Americans
• FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich: “This is the largest theft of sensitive PII by state-sponsored hackers ever recorded.” Read the rest
A commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones is being used by immigration and border authorities to round up undesirable immigrants for detention and deportation. Read the rest
Robert Heaton actually read the license agreement Wacom whas users of its tablets sign up for. Alarmed by the expansive, vague clauses therein, he set about intercepting the data going between the gadget's drivers and Wacom's servers. They track every application you open. [via fnordius]
The wildest thing is Wacom seems to have noticed he was doing tests on their servers that would expose the data collection, and turned it off for a while. Read the rest
“They identify an issue that they know that the American people feel passionately about on both sides and then they take both sides and spin them up so they pit us against each other. And then they combine that with an effort to weaken our confidence in our elections and our democratic institutions which has been a pernicious and asymmetric way of engaging in affect information warfare.”
— FBI Director Chris Wray, Feb. 5, 2020
On Wednesday, FBI Director Chris Wray said Russia is targeting Americans with an ongoing “information warfare” campaign that is likely to intensify as the nation heads into the 2020 presidential election. Read the rest